Regular grooming enables a dog to live a healthy life because it keeps parasites at bay, maintains their coat condition and ensures they remain clean and hygienic. There are many different things you must do to groom your dog effectively so they are able to live the life they deserve.
Brushing your dog’s fur is extremely important for distributing natural oils, eliminating dead hairs, eradicating parasites and pests such as fleas and generally maintaining an overall healthy, shiny coat. Gradually introducing your dog to a brush from an early age will enable them to behave more when grooming, so begin as soon as possible.
Your brushing regime will vary depending on the type of coat your dog has. Shorter coats that don’t continuously grow require a lot less maintenance than long coats, which may sweep across the ground. You will need to keep on top of brushing to prevent matting and tangling. Longer haired dogs will probably need it every day, compared to shorter haired dogs that may only require brushing every week or two.
Getting your dog’s hair cut plays an important part in ensuring the coat remains clean and healthy. Not only does it keep them cool during summer, it helps to prevent pest infestations and skin infections.
Some dogs may never need a haircut, whereas others have fur that is constantly growing and needs to be tended to regularly, as often as every two weeks. Professional dog groomers are probably the best people to entrust with this task, but there are certain basic hair cutting techniques that you can learn to do from home. Consult your vet about the correct and effective ways to do this.
Some dogs are more fortunate than others when it comes to ear problems. Whilst they can go a long time without any issues, others can be more susceptible. Ears might receive less exposure to air because of long hair covering them, or floppy ears that frame the face can prevent the necessary ventilation. Mites can find the ear canal to be a perfect place for nesting, if the ears aren’t regularly checked. Some dogs will need their ears cleaning out every day, whilst others might only require a routine clean every month, but frequent problems suggest potential allergies.
It is important you check your dog’s ears for signs of bacteria, mites and waxy build-up. Consult your vet if any problems do arise.
Cutting your dog’s nails is something that can be done at home, but it is recommended you ask your vet to show you the correct way before trying to do it yourself. This is because cutting the quick, which is the vein that runs through the nail, can cause it to bleed. Not only can this be quite painful for the dog, it may encourage negative associations with getting the nails cut.
Moreover, a lot of dogs don’t like having their paws or nails touched, so it is important to get them used to the idea by gently and regularly massaging their feet. Some dogs will require their nails to be trimmed more than others, depending on how fast the nails grow.
Brushing your dog’s teeth is extremely important for preventing the accumulation of plaque. Neglecting to do so will result in food particles becoming stuck around the gum line, which if not removed will eventually harden, creating tartar. You need to begin brushing your dog’s teeth from as early as possible and maintain a routine to prevent them from getting gum disease, which can become serious if left untreated.
Dip your finger in something your dog will find tasty. This will encourage them to allow you to handle the inside of their mouths. Some dogs might not like this, or may initially find the sensation unusual or difficult. When able, gently rub your finger on their teeth to get them used to the idea of brushing. Gradually move on to dog toothpaste, which is available in various flavours that your dog will enjoy. Don’t use human toothpaste, as swallowing this could be harmful for dogs and may cause stomach problems. You can also purchase pet toothbrushes to assist in cleaning your dog’s teeth.
Bathing is an essential way of maintaining your dog’s hygiene and preventing bad odours. However, it can be a stressful time for a lot of pet owners. Either the dog uses it as an opportunity to play, or they might even attempt to escape. It is important to get them used to the idea of bathing from an early age so they will behave in the tub later in life, when they may be a lot larger and more difficult to handle.
You only need to bathe your dog once every three months, as it can otherwise inhibit the production of natural oils that the skin and coat need. Despite this, bathing more frequently might be necessary during summer, when your dog is likely to spend more time outdoors. You also need to invest in some dog-friendly shampoo. Before buying some, make sure you consult with your vet about which one is best to use, as some can cause irritation or wash away the coat’s natural oils.
Vigilant grooming helps your dog to remain happy and healthy so make sure that, whatever methods you use, you keep up the routine.